Pfizer, Inc. (PFE) is a major producer of pharmaceutical products. This research-based company continues to stay at the top of the charts for sales worldwide. A few of the company's top products include Lipitor, Diflucan, Zithromax and Viagra. The company also has a line of animal healthcare products. In 2009 Pfizer announced that they would join forces with another large pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline to start a new HIV company that will help to improve the lives of HIV patients.
In 1849, two German cousins, Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhardt launched a small chemicals business. Their first product was an anti-parasitic, which was used to treat intestinal worms. Over the years, the company experienced tremendous growth. By 1906, company sales totaled nearly $3 million. While Pfizer, Inc. (PFE) was a mass producer of penicillin in World War II, in 1950 they began to move toward being a research based pharmaceutical company. In 2009, the company achieved sales of $50 billion.
Pfizer stock price was first listed with the Dow Jones Industrial Average in April, 2004. The company's stock price has fluctuated over the years. In January, 2007, the company began a major restructure, cutting costs and streamlining the drug development process. The company reduced it's worldwide workforce by 10,000 employees as well as closed several research and manufacturing facilities. The company has been in the spotlight for lawsuits over the last decade. In 2009, they plead guilty to illegal marketing practices. They agreed to pay out $2.3 billion in penalties.
Based in New York City, Pfizer (PFE) company growth can be attributed to several large acquisitions in the last decade. Those acquisitions include: Warner Lambert in 2000, Pharmacia/Upjohn/Searle in 2002, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in 2009 and, most recently, King Pharmaceuticals in 2010.